Sunday, August 27, 2017

New Additions - August 2017

Went on a little bit of a book buying spree today and picked up a few bargains - all second hand, and a bit of a mixed bag.

Historical Fiction:
  • Warrior Queen by James Sinclair (Boadicea)
  • King's Ransom by Glenn Pierce (Richard III & Princes in the Tower - two time periods)
  • The White Boar by Marian Palmer (Richard III through the eyes of the Lovells)
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy (French Revolution)
  • God & My Right by Alfred Duggan (Thomas a Becket)
  • The Lion of England by Margaret Butler (Henry II)
  • Claudius The God by Robert Graves (sequel to I, Claudius)
Non Fiction:
  • Memoirs of the Chevalier D'Eon by Frederic Gaillardet (Court of Louis XV)
  • Lords of the Golden Horn by Noel Barber (Ottoman Empire)
  • The Reign of Henry VII by R.L. Storey
  • The Wars of the Roses by J.R. Lander
  • Becket by Richard Winston
  • William the Conqueror by David C. Douglas
  • Richard III - The Road to Bosworth by P.W. Hammond & Anne F Sutton
  • Statesman & Saint: Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More and the Politics of Henry VIII by Jasper Ridley

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Review: The Dollhouse

Fiona Davis' story "The Dollhouse" is told in two parts by two women who live in the Barbizon Hotel (or Dollhouse as it was formerly known). 

What we have is a clever mystery that gradually unfolds in two time-lines: the modern day with journalist Rose Lewin, and the past, the 1950s, with Darby McLaughlin.  The lives of both women intersect in the modern-day timeline due to a chance meeting - Rose's interest is immediately piqued and she decides to discover the secret past of Darby, one that Darby and others are keen to keep hidden.  

As the story, told in alternating chapters, develops, Rose's "real life" begins to imitate that of the past life of Darby.  The more we read, the more we have this strange sense of history repeating itself - deja vu.  We the reader are never quite certain how things will pan out in the end - for either Rose or Darby, until the story coalesces in the final few chapters.

This is a powerful first novel wherein author Fiona Davis weaves a tantalising tale of love, betrayal, and mystery that keeps the reader enthralled to the very end.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Review: The Driver

From the creator of the hit Fox television show "Bones", comes "The Driver" by Hart Hanson; a thrilling story with an unforgettable cast of characters and an engaging, wry first-person voice.
Fiction at its humorous, sardonic, and oft-times crude, best. The lines between good and bad are certainly blurred - our hero is more anti-hero. The plot is peppered with acerbic humour (not to everyone's liking), a cast of misfit characters, action a-plenty, and the slightly disturbing narrative running through our hero's subconscious. Hanson drags the noir fiction of the golden years of crime up by the waistband of its saggy pants and plants its firmly into the 21st century. I would sit this tome alongside Caimh McDonnell's "A Man With One Of Those Faces", Mark Toscano's "Accused" and Bradley Spinelli's "The Painted Gun". 

"..... through the glass darkly and down the rabbit hole ..." 
- sums this up perfectly !